Critical Race Theory Shames Reading to Kids

The idea that promoting positive behaviors like reading to children is an act of "whiteness" is not only divisive but also counterproductive. The focus should be on universally beneficial practices that empower all students, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

October 1, 2023

The notion that encouraging positive behaviors like reading to children or adopting a growth mindset is somehow an act of "whiteness" is not just perplexing but also damaging. This perspective, often linked to critical race theory, suggests that these behaviors are exclusive to white culture and therefore should not be promoted in schools as they could be seen as oppressive or racist. This line of thinking is not only divisive but also counterproductive to the very idea of education.

The idea that reading to your children is an act of "whiteness" is a disservice to all children, irrespective of their racial background. It's a notion that perpetuates stereotypes and widens the gap between communities rather than bridging it.

The argument that promoting such behaviors is oppressive stems from the belief that it places the blame for academic struggles on students of color and their families, rather than addressing systemic issues. However, this viewpoint is flawed. Encouraging positive behaviors like reading or fostering a growth mindset is universally beneficial and should not be racially coded. These are not "white" behaviors; they are human behaviors that contribute to personal and academic growth.

The discord around this topic seems to be fueled by a misunderstanding of what these behaviors represent. They are not a form of cultural assimilation but rather tools for empowerment. The real issue at hand is not whether these behaviors are inherently "white," but why society has allowed such a damaging narrative to persist.

The term "evaded racism," as discussed in the discourse, refers to a subtle form of racism where the blame for academic struggles is placed on students of color and their families. This term is part of a larger linguistic strategy to label anything that doesn't fit into a particular ideological framework as racist. However, the focus should not be on labeling behaviors but on understanding the underlying systemic issues that contribute to academic struggles.

The debate also brings up the concept of "deficit discourse," a term used to describe a narrative that focuses on what communities lack rather than their strengths. This is where the real problem lies. By labeling positive behaviors as "white," the discourse shifts the focus from systemic issues that need to be addressed to a divisive and unproductive conversation about race.

The focus should be on creating an educational environment where all students, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, have the opportunity to succeed. This involves addressing systemic issues and promoting behaviors that contribute to academic and personal growth. Labeling such behaviors as "white" or "black" serves no one and only perpetuates a divisive and harmful narrative.

So, while the debate rages on, fueled by ideological divides and a misunderstanding of the real issues at hand, it's crucial to remember that education should be a tool for empowerment, not a battleground for divisive ideologies.


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